Recently, Jia Jia Ye, Co-Founder and CEO of Springtide, sat down with Joe Carr, Co-Founder of Serenity Kids, to learn a little more about his inspiring journey. Serenity Kids is a farm to high chair baby food brand made with nutrient dense ingredients that are easy to digest. From purees and pouches to puffs and toddler formula, Serenity Kids has become a household name that parents can trust. The founder, Joe Carr, has been very open about his journey with Autism and Jia Jia was very excited to sit down with him to learn more.
Joe’s journey reminds us all what can happen when you assume it is possible. Joe did not receive an autism diagnosis until adulthood. His mother searched high and low for answers, enrolled him in activities to focus his energy, and relentlessly supported him, yet he continued to struggle.
In middle school, he met a well-liked girl who decided to teach him how to be “cool”. Thus began a process of learning to respond to feedback and personal growth. From that point forward, he became motivated to use his tools to help himself and others thrive.
Due to the obstacles he faced growing up, Joe’s mission in adulthood became creating inclusion programs for children. This eventually led him and his wife to creating Serenity Kids, now the fastest growing baby food company. Now, he credits his autism as integral to his business’ success.
Autism as a Superpower
Joe realizes many of the struggles he faced as a child, socially and emotionally, were due to his autism. However, the traits associated with his autism are the same characteristics that help him as an entrepreneur.
What he calls his “big energy” that landed him in trouble all too often in school now helps him garner attention for the products he creates, as well as motivate team members to join in. His problem-solving abilities allow him to accomplish tasks quickly. His hyperfocus helps on staying invested and engaged in the product.
The personal growth he has done over the years as a result of not always fitting in a standard mold has also had numerous benefits as an entrepreneur. He’s learned the importance of social skills in leading a successful company, as honing those skills has been a vital part of his journey. His willingness to take feedback and his ability to grow from it enable him to play a leadership role in areas he isn’t initially comfortable in.
Tools to Combat Challenges
When Joe does meet a challenge, often numbers and data related in his case, he reaches for tools he has learned in various therapies and programs. As a whole, he tries to focus on activities during which he has a positive emotional state.
However, discomfort is often unavoidable. In those instances, he takes a break, takes a deep breath, or puts on calming music. He also reminds himself of what the task actually is, and what the consequences are. Often, the consequences someone creates in their head are much greater than the real ones.
Why Early Intervention Might Have Helped
Because Joe was not diagnosed with autism as a child, he felt alone. Until that student in middle school took him under her wing, he had no idea how to fit in. Instead, he would doubt himself and his abilities and see what he now refers to as his “gifts” as something negative.
Now, he advocates for children receiving the ABA therapy they need, while remaining confident and proud of who they are. In his advocacy, he promotes programs, like Springtide, that enable children on the autism spectrum to navigate the world while simultaneously learning to appreciate their gifts.
After watching his mother struggle for years trying to find ways to help him, Joe is well aware how difficult it can be as a parent raising a child with autism. His final message in speaking with the Springtide team was to show compassion – and not only to your child, but to yourself.
At Springtide, we always say, “Assume it’s possible.” With a team of experts, supportive parents, and a determined child all working together, any goals can be achieved.
Reach out today and speak with one of our enrollment specialists to get started with Springtide